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Full text of "The Moro massacre : letter"

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685 

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1906 



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ji', Labadan Family of the Philippines i>' 
'; in honor of 

W,|l^ Mario M. Labadan, Ph.D. '69 
and 
Mario C. Labadan, Jr. MS '96 P 

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3 1924 101 927 139 

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LETTER BY MOORFIELD 
STOREY, ESQ., PRESI- 
DENT OF THE ANTI- 
IMPERIALIST LEAGUE 



YOU ARE EARNESTLY ASKED TO HAND THIS AFTER 

READING TO SOM^ OTHER PERSON WHO WILL 

ALSO GIVE IT CAREFUL CONSIDERATION 



Anti-Imperialist Leairue, 20 Central Street, Boston, Mass. 



THE nORO HASSACRE. 

Letter by Moovfield Storey, Esq., President of the Anti- 
Imperialist League. 

The cable from Manila brings us the news of an 
exploit by which, in the words of the President, our 
soldiers "have upheld the honor of the American flag" 
and over which this civilized Christian nation is 
expected to rejoice. What is it ? 

The island of Jolo is one of the smaller Philippine 
islands. Its area by the last encyclopaedia is given at 
333 square miles, and its population cannot be large, as 
the same authority gives the population of the whole 
Sulu archipelago, consisting of 188 islands, with a total 
area of 2029 square miles^ as 32,620. In a crater at 
the top of a steep mountain were gathered a body of 
Moros, or, as Gen. Wood in his official report says, the 
position was "defended by an invisible army of Moros." 
This place was attacked by our troops, and, to quote the 
ofiBcial report, "all the defenders of the Moro stronghold 
were killed. Six hundred bodies were found on the 
field. * * * The action resulted in the extinction of a 
band of outlaws." 

What was their ofEence? Gen. Wood describes it by 
saying that they were men "who, recognizing no chief, 
had been raiding friendly Moros, and who, owing to 
their defiance of the American authorities, had stirred 
up a dangerous state of affairs." 

A later unofficial report says that "the families of the 
Moros remained in the villages located in the centre of 
the crater at the apex of the mountain, and the women 
and children mingled with the warriors during the bat- 
tle to such an extent that it was impossible to discrimi- 
nate, and many were killed in the fierce onslaught." 

The severity of the resistance may be gathered from 
the fact that though the Moros are described as having 
an almost impregnable position, our forces lost only 18 
killed and 52 wounded. 

No prisoners were taken. No wounded remained 
alive when the conflict was over and 600 human beings 



were slain •without rrtercy. Not even women and chil- 
dren in the villages were spared. -Every American must 
regret deeply when any of our brave countrymen are 
killed or wounded, but that regret must be far greater 
when they are sent to their deaths for such work as this. 
Suppose we had heard that the British had dealt thus 
with a Boer force, that the Turks had so attacked and 
slaughtered Armenians, that colored men had so inas- 
sacred white men, or even that 600 song birds had been 
slaughtered for their plumage, would not our papers 
hav6 been filled with protests and expressions of horror ? 
They "recognized no chief and had been raiding friendly 
Moros." What was their side of the story? No man 
lives to tell it. They have been exterminated. Is it 
possible that this is all the greatest and freest nation 
in the world, as we like to believe ourselves, can do for 
a people over whom wo insist on extending our benev- 
olent sway? 

This outrage unha})pily is only one in a series. The 
bloody record of Philippine conquest tells of many bat- 
tles where Filipinos were killed, but none were wounded 
and no prisoners were taken; of systematic torture, of 
villages destroyed by wholesale, of cruel reconcentra- 
tions, of brutality in every form. The responsibility for 
this cruel policy — certainly the responsibility for this 
last crime — is with the President and the secretary of 
war. If they had really desired to stop this work, they 
could have done it, but they have taken the opposite 
course. Save Gen. Smith, who was made a scapegoat 
when the public conscience was aroused by the horrors 
•of Samar, no officer has been punished for cruelty. 
Bell, Waller, Howse and others who were the immediate 
actors have been honored and promoted. Miles, Hunter 
and others who pleaded for humaner methods have been 
discredited and abused. Brutality has *been rewarded, 
humanity has been punished. The President now con- 
gratulates Gen., Wood on his "brilliant feat of arms" 
and praises this wholesale murder. It is idle to claim 
that it was a battle. There is no body of men, women 
or children not one of whom will ask for mercy. In no 
desperate battle are losses so unequal. 

The spirit which slaughters brown men in Jolo is the 



spirit which lynches black men in the South. When 
such crimes go unpunished^ far more when the men who 
commit them are praised and rewarded, the youth of the 
country is taught an evil lesson. Eace prejudice is 
strengthened and the love of justice, the corner-stone of 
free institutions, is weakened. When a man is lynched 
the community which tolerates tJie offence suffers more 
than the victim. .When we honor brutality in our army 
we brutalize ourselves. Our colleges have failed if they 
have not taught a better civilization than this, our 
churches have failed if this is their Christianity, ' 

These Mores were robbers, it is said. Alas, what are 
we ? We who ,went as their allies and friends, who 
made a treaty with them to be kept while it suited our 
convenience and then repudiated, and who now have 
robbed them of their country, their freedom and finally 
of their lives. Have they ever injured us that we in- 
vade their little island and kill them in their homes? 
"They do not know how to govern themselves." That 
is our excuse, and how do we govern them? We 
have shown them how little we regard our 
agreements, and when they "stir up a dangerous 
state of affairs" we exterminate them. Thus we teach 
the Filipinos what American civilization means. 

This nation cannot escape the inexorable law, which 
was stated by Emerson, "The dice of God are always 
loaded. * * * Every crime is punished. * * * Every 
wrong redressed in silence and certainty." Why must 
we persist in a policy which is repugnant to all our 
beliefs, which has lowered- all our standards, which 
brings us no material profit, which has reduced the 
unhappy Filipinos to misery and which has placed upon 
our flag so many indelible stains of which the blood 
shed in the massacre of Jolo is the latest ! Are we so 
low that we must applaud such deeds ? 

The responsibility for them in the last resort rests 
upon the American people. They cannot shift it to 
their servants unless they condemn such acts. Their 
silence is approval. Their approval makes them 
partners in the erimc 

MOOEFIELD STOEBY, 

President Anti-Imperialist League. 

You are earnestly ashed to hand this after reading 
to some other person who will also give it careful con- 
sideration. 

Anti-Tmperialist League, 20 Ceiitrnl Street, Boston, Mass. 




The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



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